Maybe Le’Veon Bell really is Superman.
Speaking to the media today, Bell said practices are more taxing on him than the actual games.
“I condition during practice,” Bell told reporters earlier today via Steelers.com. “I make sure I run. The funny part is, the game is a lot easier than practice. I practice a lot harder than I play in the game. Just because in practice, I’m taking most of the reps, I run a lot more conditoning wise than in the game, and I think that makes the game easier for me.”
Bell also attributed the difference to the game’s built-in breaks for him. Standing on the sidelines when the defense is on the field, commercial breaks, and quarter/halftime stoppages that allow him to catch his breath, moments he doesn’t have when the team is practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
That’s allowed him to be literally the every-down back over the nine game win streak, eight of which Bell has played. Over those eight games, he’s averaging 27.5 carrier per game, including a career high 38 against the Buffalo Bills in early December.
After missing the first three games, Bell still ended up playing the third most snaps of any running back in the league, trailing only David Johnson and DeMarco Murray.
Despite the high workload, he’s someone who rarely gets tired and would have to be forcibly removed from any play. The few times he is winded, as Ben Roethlisberger has talked about, the Steelers are likely to make a playcall that doesn’t ask him to do much.
“In the game, I don’t think too much about [being tired], because I practice so hard during the week.”
In an era of niche players, third down backs, goal line backs, early down backs, Bell does it all. As cliche as it sounds, as the game, and the season, wears on, Bell seems to be only getting better.